8 tips for finding last minute cheap flights

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Flights around the country and around the globe can seem astronomical at times. It’s the easiest and often fastest mode of travel, however, so it ends up being the way that we all want to use. Rather than spending the high prices to fly to where you want to go, there are a few tips to help you get cheap flights. Even if you’re booking at the last minute, there are a few things you will want to consider.

Keep an eye on daily deals

These days it is easy to stay on top of changing flight prices and daily deals. Sign up to a service like JustFly and let the technology do all the heavy lifting. Even if you don’t find the flights you want at the right price on your initial search, you can sign up for alerts so you can grab the best deals when they become available.

Be Flexible with the Destination

Do you have your heart set on a destination or are you simply looking for a getaway? You can work around the high priced flights by being flexible with your destination. Particularly when you have vacation time at a specific time of the year, you might not get the choice of being frugal and being picky. Consider looking at some other destinations.

Additionally, you might want to try flying into a different airport. There may be another airport an hour or two from where you want to fly out of. If you’re renting a car anyway, it may be worth to fly into a different airport and drive. Especially if it can save you a few hundred dollars per flight, it might be easier to spend a bit of time behind the wheel, too.

Be Flexible with Flight Times

Many people like to fly out early and land before it gets dark. However, that’s not always going to work out because the earlier flights tend to be the more expensive ones. Airlines know it’s the popular time to fly so they penalize you with higher rates. If you’re flexible with the times you’re willing to fly, it can reduce the cost of air travel.

Consider taking the second or third flight out for the day toward your destination. You’ll get there a little later, but you will end up having more in your pocket to spend on souvenirs or fun tours.

Choose Regional Airports

Consider flying into a regional airport instead of one of the larger airports. Airport taxes and popularity drive up the flights to the larger airports. By choosing a regional airport, you can save money and still find some connections to the main hub. Many regional airports have just as many rental car options as the big ones, too, so it’s not going to be an inconvenience for you.

A perfect example is to fly into the Gatwick airport in London as opposed to flying into London. While it’s a little further out of town, the cost savings that you can manage is often well worth the added transit time.

Fly in the Off-Season

Certain times of the year are going to be more expensive to fly to no matter what you do. It’s because everyone wants to fly there. Rather than going when it’s the most popular time of the year, you may want to wait until it’s the off-season. For example, the off-season for Hawaii is from April to June. The off-season for London is from November through March.

Do a little research on your desired destination. Instead of going when it’s most convenient for you, find out when the off-season is so that you can redo your search

The added benefit of choosing to travel during an area’s off-season is that all of the tourist attractions will be less crowded, too. You can also save on hotel stays because they’re not going to be so heavily booked.

Use an Incognito Browser & Clear Those Cookies

Airlines don’t want to give you cheaper flights if they can help it. When you keep searching the same flights day after day without any success, it’s because the airlines recognize that you have already conducted those searches. This is when you have to go incognito.

The simplest thing that you can do is clear your web browser. This way, the websites won’t know that you have been on the websites before. It will allow you to work silently in order to find the best fares of the day instead of seeing the same fares that they showed you yesterday and the day before.

You can also choose to browse in private so that a travel website cannot detect where you are or how many times you have visited the site. Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers have an incognito mode that you can slip into. This way, you can see the best prices offered for the day in order to snag them.

Fly with Carry On Luggage Only

Some of the airlines are getting ridiculous with their fees. They want to show you a cheap flight and, then, surprise you with the cost of your seat, the cost of checked baggage, and more. If you fly with only a carry-on, you could potentially save quite a bit on a roundtrip flight.

Some of our favorite carry on luggage 

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight carryon
Amazon Basics Hardside spinner luggage
Away luggage carry on
Samsonite Omni carryon

If flying with a carry on alone isn’t going to work for you, try to limit the number of suitcases that you pack. If you can get away with carry-ons for the whole family and a single checked suitcase, you can still save some money.

Prepare for the Red Eye

The red-eye is called such because it’s the overnight flight. Many airlines offer these when traveling internationally or from one side of the country to the other. While they’re inconvenient and you might not get a lot of sleep, they can be well worth it because of the savings. You might have to plan on coming in a day earlier than you planned. However, if you’re going to be flying with multiple people, the savings can more than make up for the extra hotel night.

You shouldn’t have to pay more for flights than absolutely necessary. While plenty of people tell you to book in advance, this is not always possible. Last-minute cheap flights are available in many instances as long as you’re willing to make a small sacrifice in order to tap into the lower prices.


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